Friday, March 02, 2007

Toronto & winter

My adventures yesterday, started in fairly benign fashion, but I was ignoring the warnings about the coming winter storm! On my errands around Toronto yesterday, I passed by one of these lovely neighborhoods, where, as I mentioned in a previous post, I can picture myself living. The biggest advantage is that this little residential street is within walking distance to just about anything, including public transit. To someone like me, who has to do so much driving to do anything, being in walking distance sounds like paradise.

OK, so far so good. In the picture above, you cannot see the snow that had already started to fall. By three p.m., as I was leaving MEC down on King St., (I know, again!!), tons of snow had already fallen (ok, I'm exaggerating just a little there), and the traffic quickly a mess.

Skyscrapers of the financial district around Bay St. disappeared into swirling snow.

The cheezy artificial coconut palm decorating the rooftop of Hooters is an odd juxtaposition to the falling snow of a late winter storm in Toronto.

Notice, the light is green, but nobody is moving, ie, gridlock defined!

Above, the Bloor St subway is visible under the bridge over the Don River and the DVP.

It took me over 4 hours to drive the relatively short distance from the bottom of the Don Valley Parkway to the on-ramps of the 401, a trip that should take maybe 30 min. When I made fun of Toronto and snow, recently, I had completely forgotten the impact that the sheer volume of traffic makes. Interesting to think about, the impact of the congestion of vehicles.

Contrast that struggle with rush-hour traffic in bad weather with the remainder of my trip:

I had enough trouble with the snow on the relatively deserted roads from Pickering to Fenelon Falls. Visibility was pretty good, but the winds were so strong that deep, deep drifts criss-crossed the roads so that I was often in the wrong lane to avoid getting completely hung-up in a snowbank. The fastest I was ever able to go was about 60km/h. A trip that might normally take me 2 hours, took me over 3 hours.

I had considered taking the GO train in, but a strike by CN workers, the extra time involved, were factors that I took into consideration when I decided again, to take my car. Then, to top it all off, a freight train derailment yesterday morning put a severe snarl into the GO schedule on the lakeshore east route. Listening to the radio as I sat on the DVP, barely moving, I heard weird delays also occurred on the Stouffville route...GO staff blaming it on the striking CN Rail operators...Sigh.

We have along way to go to improve our transit and public transportation system so that an ordinary person like me would be motivated to use it vs my own vehicle which gives me the flexibility I want.

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Blogger Crafty Gardener ... said...

March arrived like a lion in the Quinte region also. I'm looking forward to that lamb arriving on the scene.

7:55 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

What a strange winter it's been: first no sign of the cold and snow with rain for Christmas; then a bit more of the anticipated wintry-like weather; then, BAM, March arrived!

10:42 a.m.  

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